Friday, June 21, 2013

Fear vs defiance

I knew Ranger would have trouble having his ears examined for a hearing test.

I prepped him about the headphones and the beeps, and promised - pinky promised that I would hold his hand if the doctor even touched his ears.

He was uncharacteristically quiet on the ride there, so I told him it was ok if he was afraid, but there are things in life we have to do at some point. I explained about why we needed the test and that the doctor would not hurt him.

Y'all, I have NEVER seen Ranger lose it like he did. Hysterical could not begin to describe his response the moment they held up the tool that rests in his ear. We showed him on his brother that it didn't hurt. We played place the point of the machine on your nose, chin, cheeks, but the moment we got to ears he was back to hysterical.

I am sad to say I was not at my best. I threatened, I guilted, I offered rewards and even took him to a nearby toy store and let him pick a toy as part of a deal. And then minutes later took it away and told him I would take the toy back to the store because he wouldn't cooperate. I pleaded and teased and hugged and finally, to no avail, held him against me in a hug while they tried to get a reading. He screamed and cried and struggled. He needed to be silent for 10 seconds and...well...that was not going to happen

We were able to get headphones on him for the beep test, but in order to know if there is a problem with his hearing causing his speech / articulation problems, he must have the full test. Especially since he did great hearing/responding to beeps on the right side but on the left didn't do well at all.

When it was clear this was not working, I paid our co pay and took the boys to their grandma's house. I was still very agitated, and cranky, and told Ranger I needed some space to cool down.

And he gave it to me.

And then we went to the pool with his grandma and we had a blast.

And my ire melted away and I could see that my little man had actually gone into a room knowing he would face something that terrified him. Not just made him a little afraid, but filled him with deep down terror.

And suddenly I wished I would have stopped insisting, wished I hadn't guilted or threatened.

Because he wasn't being disagreeable out of spite or defiance.

We still have to get this exam done. But maybe next time we can help him manage his fear. We are going to try to have his grandpa come along next time, since Ranger thinks he hung the moon.

If you have experience with this kind of thing, any ideas would be welcome

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